Summary: Paul reminds us there is one reason to be glad, the grace, mercy, and forgiveness purchased by Jesus Christ. He is also calling us to beware. The devil steals, kills, and tries to destroy joy. Be glad about Jesus beware of the joy stealers.
Intro: Alien cover ups, Kennedy conspiracy, Kardashians, Kanye, Beyoncé and royal babies. What we discover is that our world is full of people with itching ears for something new, something they have never heard before. It amazes me that people seem to come to conferences, classes and revivals to learn a juicy tidbit a new thing.
JB Philips translated it this way in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when men will not tolerate wholesome teaching. They will want something to tickle their own fancies, and they will collect teachers who will pander to their own desires. They will no longer listen to the truth, but will wander off after man-made fictions.”
The Message, “You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.”
Philips Phil 3.1, “In conclusion, my brothers, delight yourselves in the Lord! It doesn't bore me to repeat a piece of advice like this, and if you follow it you will find it a great safeguard to your souls” Phillips
Paul is reminding us that there is one reason to be glad or cheerful! Jesus Christ. The angels told the shepherds we bring you good tidings of great joy! Why because God entered time and put on flesh. Grace and forgiveness came into the world through the miracle of Jesus born to a virgin. When we experience personally God’s grace and forgiveness it creates in us gratitude, generosity and good cheer! When we discover that Jesus is the reason to rejoice we have discovered the joy of humility.
I. Rejoice in the Lord (Paul gives a command to be glad in Jesus)
To ancient Greeks it was a greeting, a wish for the happiness of one's friend. It was also the object of fellowship, as seen in the festal joy of religion
You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures. (Psalm 16:11) Joy is not gloomy or grumpy neither is it giddy or goofy it is marked by celebration and expectation of the present and future victory we will share with Jesus Christ! Paul commands us to be cheerful in Jesus Christ! If we have joy it independent of our circumstances.
A) Be glad about the person of Jesus
Jesus promised to give us a life that is full. Joy is part of the fulfillment of that promise. That promise is best fulfilled in Jesus being present in your life. Joy is not based on our circumstances and what surrounds us it is instead based on how we greet Jesus in the pressure, pain, problems and yes even pleasures of this life.
1) Be glad in His forgiveness
The angels told the shepherds we bring you good news of great joy! Today is born for you a savior, Christ the Lord.
Luke 10:19-20 “Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you. 20 However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
If you have invited Jesus into your life to be your Savior and Lord then your name was written in the book of life with the blood of Jesus.
2) Be glad in His fellowship
“In your presence is abundant Joy” The fruit is joy the root is God’s grace in salvation. Don’t put the fruit where the root should be! Each of us will evidence joy differently. God does not make assembly line Christians he makes unique treasures with unique display cases.
3) Be glad in His faithfulness
Circumstances change Jesus never does. How are we supposed to be glad in Jesus? Greet Him in whatever you face. When he heard bad news Martin Luther would say, “Come let us sing a psalm and spite the devil”
B) Be glad about the principles of Jesus (truth) (Bible Teaching, studying, living)
Psalm 19:8 “The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad (joy)”
Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people,
take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers. 2 Rather, he delights in the teachings of the Lord and reflects on his teachings day and night.”